Biss bliss in poll? Gov hopeful in 2nd place, ahead of Kennedy, behind Pritzker

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Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates Daniel Biss (from left), Chris Kennedy and JB Pritzker after a forum with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board on Jan. 17. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

A new poll puts State Sen. Daniel Biss trailing billionaire philanthropist/entrepreneur J.B. Pritzker— with just six weeks until the March primary.

The We Ask America poll of 811 likely voters was taken Jan. 29-30 and shows Pritzker ahead at 29.79 percent, followed by Biss at 17.43 percent. Businessman Chris Kennedy was in third with 11.50 percent. And it shows that 37.95 percent of those polled are still undecided. The rest: Tio Hardiman, 1.73 percent; Bob Daiber, 0.87 percent; and Robert Marshall, 0.74 percent.

Biss fared well in suburban Cook, the collar counties and in Chicago, but had just 3.86 percent of voters in downstate Illinois, according to those polled. Kennedy, however, is faring the best downstate.

Pritzker’s poll numbers show his message is getting out throughout the state, with the highest numbers in downstate Illinois.

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Still, the undecided tallies are telling. According to the poll, there were 39.74 percent of undecided voters in Chicago; 35.95 percent in suburban Cook; 36.90 percent in the collar counties and 37.68 downstate.

Pritzker, Kennedy and Biss are all running TV ads ahead of the primary.The are four more major debates with all six candidates scheduled to participate. Pritzker — the perceived frontrunner who has put $42 million of his own cash in his campaign war chest — noticeably went after Biss during the first televised debate, which some saw as a sign the state senator was up in the polls.

The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 3.44 percent. The “likely Democratic Party voters” were polled using recorded and cell phone calls.

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